It is August and unfortunately COVID-19 is still affecting NYC in a major way. Business are still not yet fully open, theaters are still closed, concerts have ceased, but one thing has emerged….outdoor dining.
Typically, not all restaurants in NYC as permitted to have outdoor seating; however, faced with the difficulty presented by COVID-19, NYC permitted most food establishments to commandeer sidewalks and streets and building dining terraces. These outdoor dining terraces allowed us to feel like life had gone back to normal – if only in one small way. You can now walk down any street and find dozens of restaurants serving food and drinks to outdoor revelers. In fact, with some many restaurants and bars offering outdoor seating it is difficult to pick which ones to visit. While concerts may seem to have gone by the wayside for the time being, some local musicians have taken to performing outside of these restaurants and bars. Just the other day, I was walking through Brooklyn only to stumble upon an Italian restaurant, with beautiful outdoor seating, playing host to a group of very well-known NYC musicians (some of whom I am told have toured the globe playing to sold out crowds).
The coolest thing was that just as excited as we were to hear them play, they were excited to have us as an audience. Now that concerts have ceased, you could tell that these musicians were just happy to have an audience to entertain…we were grateful. At a time when life often seems upside down, these outdoor restaurants and bars have provided New Yorkers with a sense of normalcy. These outdoor bars and restaurants are very reminiscent of the European cities that I am accustomed to. Hopefully, NYC will allow these establishments to remain serving food and drinks outdoors for long into the future.